intrusive questions about another person’s private life or body is sexual harassment. what is private life in legal terms.
‘Private life’ is not specifically defined in law but we can understand how the law looks at it through references to private life in case law. In the landmark judgement of Puttaswamy v. Union of India, the Supreme Court held that the right to privacy is protected as an inherent part of the fundamental right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 of our Constitution.
In its judgement, the Court also said that private life is a broad concept. According to the judgements referred by the Court, private life includes the right to establish and develop relationships with other human beings. It also covers multiple aspects of a person’s physical and social identity such as gender identification, name, sexual orientation and sexual life.
With regard to your point on intrusive questions and sexual harassment, we can tell you that under Indian law, women are protected against sexual harassment at the workplace.1 As per the law on sexual harassment at the workplace, asking intrusive questions about a person’s private life or body is also considered as sexual harassment.2 Moreover, Section 354A of the Indian Penal Code states that sexual harassment includes making sexually coloured remarks, and punishes men for the offence of sexual harassment. The punishment is imprisonment for up to one year and/or fine.
- Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.
- FAQs, Ministry of Women and Child Development, accessed at http://www.shebox.nic.in/user/faq.
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